Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Helen Duffy about Abu Zubaydah who remains unlawfully detained in Guantánamo Bay

In two moving articles, Dutch newspaper Trouw has reported on the lengthy detention of Abu Zubaydah in Guantánamo Bay. Zubaydah was tortured over a period of many years. Helen Duffy, Professor of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and also Zubaydah’s lawyer, recently booked a major victory for him.

Zubaydah was arrested by the CIA in Pakistan 20 years ago and is still being held today in Guantánamo Bay. On behalf of her client, Zubaydah, Duffy filed a case with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a body that falls under the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. The UN Working Group has decided that Zubaydah should be released and that he should be given compensation. According to the Working Group, his continued detention ‘has no legal basis whatsoever, and can be seen as a form of torture in itself, besides the physical torture he has been subjected to in the past’.

In Trouw, Duffy says she is satisfied with the decision, although this does not mean that the American Government will now release Zubaydah. The Working Group's decision is not legally enforceable. Duffy: 'It is true that this is not a legally binding decision which we can be certain will be implemented … In principle, the Biden administration has said it will close Guantánamo Bay. This decision will test the extent of that commitment.’ 

Find out more?

Read the full articles (in Dutch) in Trouw here en here (€).

International media also paid attention to the decision of the UN Working Group:

New York Times (€)

Guardian (€)

Forever Wars

This website uses cookies.  More information.